Nature

Nature Reflections Environmental Initiatives

I love owning my business, even though I work many hours and have had quite a few bumps along the way. My customers are fantastic; they send me stories that touch my heart and brighten my day. I get the opportunity to use my creative skills and business background simultaneously. My little fur ball friend sits next to me each day as he unknowingly cheers me on. But there has always been something in the back of my mind, a dark, sad little thought that I was not doing all I could. And this thought had to do with shipping and the environment. It was against my core values, which are honoring and supporting nature.

 

Recently, I noticed that Glow Recipe, the company where I buy my moisturizer and serums, has a badge stating that they are carbon neutral. I was perplexed; how could they be carbon neutral if they were shipping many small packages? Like me, they use minimal packaging that is either reusable, recyclable, or compostable. They also operate on the same website platform. But carbon neutral? How could that be?

 

Recently, Shopify (the platform that my business and many other small and medium size companies use) launched Planet- Carbon Neutral. What it does is every time Nature Reflections ships an order, this program will calculate the impact on the environment. Nature Reflections then pays an amount into the Shopify Sustainability fund, which invests in solutions to remove the carbon emissions of the shipment.

 

Unlike other sustainable commerce services, Planet focuses on carbon removal rather than offsetting carbon with forest protection. Shopify has partnered with more than 20 innovative companies that they believe can help reverse climate change. To achieve results in carbon removal, they are using a multi-tiered approach which includes:

  • Direct air capture- Pulling carbon out of the air
  • Biomass- Converting organic waste for energy and storage
  • Mineralization- turning carbon into rock
  • Ocean- Maximizing the world’s largest carbon sink
  • Transportation- Neutralizing emissions caused by vehicles
  • Soil- Optimizing farming to increase soil health
  • Forest- Using technology for reforestation
  • Storage- ensuring that carbon is removed for good
  • Product- storing carbon into usable products like concrete.

 

As my freelancer teammate, Elisha, and I were researching the carbon-neutral process, Elisha found another project we would quickly implement. I got excited when he told me about it, especially since it was about trees. I also liked this program because if my customers wanted to get involved, they could do so. One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation across 47+ countries in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. Since its inception in 2014, they have planted over 40 million trees. In 2021, they more than doubled their impact from 2020 - with 23.5 million trees! Their vision is “to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Together we can restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world. We plant one tree with every dollar donated.”

 

Any of us who have been to a nursery knows that a tree costs more than a dollar. So how do they do this? They start with saplings, then monitor each one and plant during the rainy seasons to ensure growth and viability. To learn more about One Tree Planet, check out their video here.

 

The combination of Planet, whose mission is to remove carbon, and One Tree Planet, which focuses on reforestation, tackles the environmental challenges with a one-two punch. With these efforts, I now feel like Nature Reflections is genuinely honoring the “Nature” portion of our name. I hope you are as excited as I am about these new initiatives.

 

About the author: Theresa Touhey owns Nature Reflections, an online jewelry store specializing in handcrafted Angel Callers and Harmony Ball Jewelry. She is also an artist, a writer, a grandmother, a caregiver to a rescued Havanese dog, and a nature lover. She has practiced various forms of meditation and yoga for over 30 years.

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